BIG TEN TOURNAMENT: Nebraska Defeats Rutgers 68-61 by Casey Campbell

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT: Nebraska Defeats Rutgers 68-61

With only six scholarship players available, the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 68-61 to advance to the next round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Cornhuskers had some great performances from James Palmer Jr who had 34 Points on the game as well as Glynn Watson who had 11 points. The Cornhuskers also had an excellent defensive performance from Johnny Trueblood.

Nebraska was down 51-46 at one point in the game and then went on a 15-0 run and took over the game. Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said the team was rock solid all night. “I thought that we were soft coming out the second half. They didn’t have an offensive rebound in the first half, and they came out and got two the first two possessions and scored five points. We missed an inside shot fading away. So we took a long time out. James, I thought, played pretty strong after that. But they were rolling pretty good. Then we just got defensive stops. I think Johnny got a couple steals, and Roby got a couple of blocks. They didn’t get any second shots. Palmer hits the three. Roby gets four free throws. We get a couple of breaks. Glynn makes a play. All of a sudden you feel like you have a little rhythm. But it all started with this team. I thought we were rock solid defensively the whole night,” Miles said.

Nebraska also got a tremendous defensive performance from Johnny Trueblood. Miles said he was very valuable in the win over Rutgers. “I hope he makes me look as dumb as he can. It’s so cool to see him out there. The guys believe in him. Nobody is judging or saying, oh, how come we’re playing whoever, whether it be Thor, Johnny, Brady, or anybody. So if we have to change the game plan a little bit when one of those guys is in there, nobody blinks. Johnny has done so well just playing without any fear, just fearlessness. He knocked down one of those foul shots. I think that he is one of those guys that comes in and makes us better. He does as good a job as he can. He was staying in front of guys, made a couple of errors here and there, but nothing nobody else had made all night. So I’m very, very proud of Johnny Trueblood,” Miles commented.

There were also many speculations that Miles would not return to Nebraska next year but said that the team just did the best that they could. Miles mentioned, “Whatever happens, happens. I just told the guys, you know, this is a big-boy business. Whatever will be will be. I want to be the coach of Nebraska. I love Nebraska. The decision is out of my hands. So we control what we can control. We can control being ready, and how hard you’re playing. I can control how well I coach and how well I prepare. We go about our game plan,” Miles added.

Before his press conference, Miles fell in the tunnel and said he tripped on the wires but said he was fine. “I’m fine. You know, the wires they jumped up and got me. I thought I was a better athlete than that. But I’m old. For anybody that doesn’t know, I fell waving at the crowd, running down the hallway when I was leaving. I think it got caught on TV according to everybody that’s rubbing it in. I would say that’s a lot of exhilaration, but, yeah, just enough clumsiness to keep things interesting,” Miles mentioned.

Nebraska will take on Maryland in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament at 3 PM on BTN.